PARIS: Kylian Mbappe is set to continue at Paris Saint-Germain and said that he was "very happy" to remain in France. The World Cup winner rejected Real Madrid to extend his contract at PSG until 2025. Sporting director Leonardo who was dismissed after Mbappe's decision, on Sunday will not be a part of the new season.
Before marking his new deal with a hat-trick in PSG's 5-0 win over Metz in their final Ligue 1 match of the season, Mbappe spoke to the supporters on the Parc des Princes pitch saying, "I am very happy to stay in France, in Paris, in my city". "I hope I'm going to be able to continue to do what I like most -- winning football matches and trophies with all of you", he added as he was seen standing next to Nasser al-Khelaifi the president of PSG.
Mbappe finished Ligue 1's as top scorer for a fourth consecutive campaign after his hat-trick on Saturday bought his total of league goals to 28.
The footballer's decision has put an end to speculations around perhaps the hottest property in world football. It has been reported that Real Madrid had been in negotiation with the star, and had supposedly agreed to a deal which would have included a signing-on fee of 150 million euros (USD 158 million), according to the New Indian Express.
Leonardo (52), the sporting director was dismissed only hours after Mbappe signed his contract with the extension, according to a knowledgable source on such matters. The dismissal came after a disappointing season for PSG, who has previously lost to Real Madrid in March during the knockout stages of the Champions League.
'Insult to football'
Javier Tebas the president of Spain's La Liga on Saturday criticized the move saying that Mbappe's staying back at France was mainly due to PSG's Qatari owners' substantial financial resources. "What PSG is doing by renewing Mbappe with large sums of money...after posting losses of 700 million euros in recent seasons and having a wage bill of over 600 million euros, is an INSULT to football," Tebas tweeted.
The Spanish football federation has threatened to launch an official complaint about PSG's actions "to UEFA, the French administrative and fiscal authorities and the appropriate decision-making bodies of the European Union".
In his tweet, Tebas also called Khelaifi, who is the chairman of the influential European Club Association "a danger to European football". Khelaifi also sits on the UEFA Executive Committee.
PSG is now looking forward to fulfilling their quest to win the Champions League, which has so far eluded them. Mbappe will now line up next to Neymar and probably Lionel Messi for the next season.
Meanwhile Mbappe's decision has left Real Madrid fans bemused after the widely-hyped negotiation folded. David Pulido, a 42-year-old Real supporter, told AFP, "Now I don't want him to come to Real Madrid anymore. It's not worth it. Mbappe played on both fronts. First, he wanted to come to Madrid, and now for the money he stays at PSG. I have no interest in Mbappe anymore, I'm sorry. He's a great player. I liked him at times, but not any more".
He will be one of the major figures as defending Chanpions of the World Cup try to retain their claim on the trophy in november and December.
Luis Caceres, the president of the Real Madrid supporters' associations spoke to the Spanish radio station Cadena Cope saying, "Real Madrid have won 13 Champions Leagues without Mbappe. He will not be missed."